On my Facebook page this week, I shared a precious video and how the beautiful picture that my client, Torey, captured of her husband and two children proudly holding her galley copies of her new book No Big Deal brought tears to my eyes and reminded me of an interview I did a week or so ago.
We were about half-way through the interview when she asked a question I knew she was going to ask, “What tradeoffs have you had to make on your professional journey?”
I’d previewed these questions and made some notes about how to answer them, but before I could glance at my notes, I heard myself blurt, “People…”
Wait. What? I felt my throat constrict and my heart begin to race.
“Oh… what do you mean?” she asked, curiosity oozing.
“Well…” I took a deep breath to collect my thoughts because this was NOT the answer I had planned to give, but I know from experience that when I blurt something like that, I need to pay careful attention because it’s a message that is coming through FOR ME OR SOMEONE WHO WILL HEAR ME.
I don’t remember the exact words I used, but here is the essence of what flowed out of mouth the minute I opened it:
I had to let go of PEOPLE to start this journey and I’ve had to continue to let go of people along the way.
Because the minute I said YES to the truer version of me showing up in the world, the people around me felt the shift and reacted to it.
Like many of the folks who experience a moment of clarity that there is something in their life that needs to shift…and fast…or there will be serious consequences, I followed the bread crumbs and found myself in a community that was devoted to healing and transformation.
It was exactly what I needed at the time.
My soul looked around those rooms and listened to those trainers and sighed with relief. The work was no-joke-painful, but it couldn’t compare to the pain I was dead-set on escaping.
A few people were genuinely happy for me.
• “Amanda, this is awesome! Look at what you’re creating!”
• “Wow, I can see the pain lifting off of your shoulders.”
• “I love seeing you excited and on purpose. You have so much to give. Go, Girl!”
Others were scared for my well-being.
• “Why is she spending so much time with those people? Is that a cult?”
• “I want her to follow her dreams, but I don’t want her to be disappointed and depressed again.”
• “She’s starting a business? What about her credential? What about financial security?”
Many were significantly impacted by my
new thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
• “Why is she telling me how she feels now? I thought it was all water under the bridge.”
• “She’s starting to talk and act like them, and I don’t like them. I like HER.”
• “Who does she think she is, taking time away from me/us to pursue these goals?”
And who can blame them, really? I mean, when I think about how challenging it can be for me to hold onto MY dream when I can see it so clearly, I wonder how I could ever expect my loved ones to “get it”, especially when that dream often has me asking for “a few more hours today” or “a weekend to work on this.”
It took me SIX YEARS to figure out how to communicate and create powerful win-wins for my loved ones when it comes to working on my dreams, and there are still people that I have to occasionally let go of when our paths no longer wind in the same direction.
And I know it’s not just me who has faced these challenges.
Over the years of helping people strike out on their own messenger adventures, I have spent many hours holding space for their tears and confusion as they navigate the challenges of re-negotiating their relationships with others and the truer version of themselves.
And let’s get real — a MeToo Memoir like No Big Deal had Torey working through old, icky stories to uncover the most powerful and responsible way to share her journey.
So when I watched that video of her little one and I see the picture of her happy and proud family, my heart rejoices.
She definitely had to make some tradeoffs along the way to write her book, but her most important people were not part of them.
So, happy for you, Torey! ️
This book is going to TRANSFORM LIVES and CATALYZE A MOVEMENT for Open Spaces where we can have some challenging conversations and get real about preventing stories like this repeating for our children.